That's right. This week is a time to celebrate our national parks as part of National Park Week from April 20-28, 2013. Here's something that I learned while researching National Park Week--there are 401 national parks, according to the National Park Service website. That's pretty amazing. And, after doing a little bit more research, we have a national park right in our own backyard. Do you know where it is? I'll give you a hint: it's in Rome.

So, have you guessed yet? If you said, Fort Stanwix National Monument, you are correct. That is the closest national park in our area, according to the official website. Wondering how you can celebrate National Park Week? Well, how about visiting our very own local national park.

Are you wondering what you can do at Fort Stanwix? According to the National Park Service's official website for Fort Stanwix:

"[V]isitors receive an orientation from the ranger on duty. The Monument has 3 short trails that encircle the fort. One of the trails follows a portion of the Oneida Carrying Place. The other two trails interpret the events of the siege of 1777.

Join a ranger led program and gain a greater understanding of the events that happened here. Check with the ranger on duty in the Willett Center for times and locations of all programs offered that day.

Visitors have an opportunity to discover their own bridges to the past in the museum area. Other activities in the fort include living history programs. All visitors are welcome to join to our special events and experience 18th century military life."

So, if you're looking to visit Fort Stanwix, this week is a perfect week. According to,

"Did you know…that from Monday, April 22 – Friday, April 26, the national parks waive all entrance fees?  So, whether it is your first trip, or the latest of many memorable park experiences, there couldn’t be a better time to get out and explore!"

What a perfect time to enjoy a national park. Happy National Park Week, everyone!

You can read more about National Park Week here.